Thursday, June 09, 2005

Into Thin Air

Friday I took some time and finally read a book my friend Curtis has been encouraging me toward for years. by Jon Krakauer. I read Krakauer's first book two years ago, and really enjoyed it. This recent read tells a graphic story of a disaster atop Mount Everest in which many people horrifically lost their lives, and through a a series of poor decisions many more are scarred physically, emotionally, and spiritually to this day.

A couple of themes stuck out to me. One was the importance of making plans and holding fast to them. Not that we shouldn't be flexible, but when the stakes of danger become more possible we need to hold fast to our original ideas. Sometimes in the heat of the moment we make decisions that at any other time we would realize were bad decisions. Most of the last minute decisions made during this disaster were made in an oxygen depleted environment, so people were already suffering from clouded thinking, and difficulty in breathing/moving. In spite of this many heroic acts were commenced that cost some their lives, and saved others theirs.

The other theme was the significant impact our "little decisions" have on the lives of those around us. Many times we justify a behavior or an act believing that "it wont hurt anybody". Even the smallest of acts can have great implications for others. There is an old asian proverb that when a butterfly flaps it's wings it is the beginnings of a devasting wind. We need to weigh the implications of our decisions as we seek what glorifies God most, and also what is best for humanity. The two should work together as one.

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